Lately, I’ve been feeling down with everything that’s happening in life. There’s anxiety and failure at just about every facet, everything is either nakakatamad (so tiresome) or nakaka-disappoint (so disappointing). At most I act nonchalantly about things. I can barely encourage myself, so how can I even dream about encouraging others.
Then I remembered the Black Eyed Peas’ song: “Where is the Love?”, except that I was also looking for the twins Joy and Hope.
The lives of early Christians were characterized by Joy and Hope:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12
Why is it, however, that more often than not, modern day Christianity has been reduced to a set of rules that must be strictly followed? Why is it that most Christians are anything but joyful and hopeful? Why do we seem to be just going through the motions just like everyone else, except that we expect an eternity in heaven with the Triune God?
Perhaps that is why the writer of Romans had to reiterate Romans 12:12. It is unnatural for any human being to endure injustice for the sake of something or someone unseen. What Higher Being or cause allows us to transcend the punishment of pain and death, letting go of even our very lives in the process?
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” – Hebrews 10:23
Our hope is one based on the unchangingness of an all-powerful, perfectly honest God. Our hope is therefore as infinitely big as the Object to which it is anchored to. Perhaps it’s because we fail to see beyond the barriers of this world, that our hope is suddenly extinguished. Perhaps it’s because we fail to see the huge God that we have, that we seem to live as if He’s just another wood-and-stone figure enshrined in a glass case. Perhaps we have forgotten who Christ is:
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” – 1 Peter 3:15
What is this “Christian hope” that stems from worshiping “Christ as Lord”?
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believedin his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. – John 1:12-13
This joy and hope stems from God’s generosity in finally allowing anyone who puts his faith in Him to enjoy the status of being a child of God. A hope that one day, evil will finally submit to God, and all sadness will disappear as we enjoy His presence. A hope that will allow us to live our lives being barely concerned about what we eat or drink, or whether we suffer this or that, or whether we get to live like the Joneses or not. A hope so uncontained that we will want others to have what we have, by all means.
So, is your life feeling devoid of Joy and Hope? Come and worship Jesus. Or maybe you need a little persecution as well…